Europeans really know how to party. Europeans have always revered their party animals, from the Libertines of 18th century France and Britain to the fun-loving painter Toulouse Lautrec who captured the excesses of Parisian life. Europe has a history of decadence and debauchery that no other continent can compare to.
Europeans tend to be heavier drinkers than the Americans and well, most of the world really. West Indians would give them a run for their money in the drinking stakes, but do not have the same frantic energy as Europeans who really take their frustrations out on the dance floor. This can only come from long cold winters and the confines of wearing too many clothes. Here’s a list of the top ten party destinations in Europe in no particular order.
Ibiza is truly mind-blowing in terms of how many clubs, world class DJs and parties there are. This is the island of unadulterated hedonism where you can watch the sunset to soothing sounds in a chill-out bar before descending into the balmy Spanish night air. Pacha, El Divino, Manumisssion, Café Del Mar, Space, Amnesia – the list is too long to mention them all but these are the world’s biggest and best clubs. Expect to pay top dollar for the privilege of entering and then plenty more once you are inside.
Ask a bar or nightclub in Berlin what time they close and you will invariably be greeted with ‘when the last person leaves.’ The real question is why the partying is so amazing in Berlin. It’s a unique combination of factors which includes a large student population who have disposable cash but no jobs. Then there are all those cool abandoned buildings which make for amazing nightclubs. Most importantly Berliners channel their considerable creative talents into the art of partying.
You can’t get more stylish or sophisticated than Barcelona. Nights here start late in true Spanish style and that means you will probably be treated to a beautiful sunrise by the time you start to stumble home. Many of Barcelona’s clubs are tucked away in little back streets and this is a city where you could take a lifetime discovering all it has to offer. Barcelona also hosts the annual Sonar electronic music festival which is popular within the industry and clubbers around the world.
Istanbul is a huge and beguiling city and its nightlife is exceptional. You are sure to enjoy the exoticism of Istanbul, which straddles the Bosphorus Straits and the two continents of Europe and Asia. Try a Nargileh with some fruit cocktails in the Beyoglu district and then head to Ortakoy for the real party. The Q jazz club is a real treat for jazz lovers and it is housed in an old 17th century brick building. Crystal at Muallim Naci Caddesi has underground house and garage music.
Prague makes fantastic beer so having Pilsner Urquell or draft Budweiser always makes a good start to your evening. The beer halls are a good place to meet locals as you are encouraged to sit at tables with people that you don’t know. Prague is heavily geared towards hen and stag night with many bar crawls put on for tourists. If mass alco-tourism is not your thing then you may want to give Prague a miss.
Latvia’s capital has low prices and late opening times which make it an ideal place to party. However, there are also a lot of bar scams going on to try and rip off tourists. Don’t get taken in by any beautiful girls trying to get you into their club, you will then be forced to buy overpriced drinks by credit card. If you can steer clear of trouble Riga has all sorts of fantastic bars, clubs and pubs. Expect excellent beer and a lively array of music and characters.
Home of the famous beer festival, Munich does the kind of decadence of which Europeans are proud. Oktoberfest is a fantastic event the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. If you are unlucky enough to miss it then there are beer halls and beer gardens in operation all year around. The Hirshgarten alone has over 8,000 seats making it Europe’s biggest beer garden. Munich also has numerous exciting clubs which operate a casual door policy.
In typical package holiday style Mykonos is cheap and cheerful with a number of colourful clubs. The names are none too inventive but at least you know what to expect at the Tropicana Beach Club or the Kalua Beach Bar. These watering holes provide the perfect way to unwind after a hard day of lying on the beach and doing nothing. Expect things to degenerate fully as the night progresses.
Hungary’s capital has become a huge destination for stag and hen weekends in Europe and that’s because there loads of nightclubs and really cheap prices. You can try the local Hungarian wine bars as a good start to your night and there are quite a few districts to choose from. In Castle Hill the House of Hungarian Wines has over fifty varieties available to taste. In Buda there are open air clubs for those balmy summer nights as well as a floating boat with great music.
The ‘dam’ is a wicked place to go out and Dutch people really know how to enjoy themselves. With Amsterdam being one of the world’s most popular tourist spots, there is sure to be an eclectic crowd and you can find literally every kind of music from rock and hip hop to electro and dance. Many tourists come to Amsterdam for the promise of the coffee shops and other pleasures. One of the benefits of the forward-thinking policies of the Dutch is that the nightclubs can actually test whatever it is that you plan to take beforehand to make sure it is safe.
What cities in Europe would you recommend for partying and having a good time? Make a comment and let everybody know!